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Re: Feathers as fossilized behaviour (was:Re: Function Talks at Ostrom Symposium)

Ron Orenstein wrote:

<In other words, I would bet a tidy sum that Caudipteryx preened its
feathers - perhaps using its few remaining teeth. They would simply
not have been so neatly arranged otherwise.>

  If the Yixian lake was truly a lake at the time (hoping for the data
on Sihetun, really, really, really...) that the *Caudipteryx* were
preserved, then perhaps the animal's movement through the water or the
water's movement over the animal would have altered the natural
position of the feathers. If it was careless of its feathers, the
water could have straitened them out.

  I do like the idea of the slender teeth as combs, though.

<I have suggested the teeth of Caudipteryx - and if I am right, then
perhaps (and I do mean perhaps!) the more advanced oviraptors, which
had lost these teeth, had lost or reduced their remiges and rectrices
as well.>

  Do you propose that oviraptors were large-game predators? I see
difficulties on that score, mainly the jaws are almost entirely
unsuited to processing flesh and instead suited to crushing objects
(Barsbold, 1977; Smith, 1993; pers. obs.).

- Often, it is the man who is brought
  down the path to the end who does
  not see his own steps. -

Jaime A. Headden

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